On Thursday the High Sheriff of Lincolnshire, Jill Hughes, and Lincolnshire Police Chief Constable Neil Rhodes presented a Testimonial on Vellum from the Royal Humane Society to Barbara Tebb, 42, of Redwood Avenue, Sleaford.
She was among police officers, staff and public awarded for heroic acts and outstanding contributions during the ceremony at the force’s headquarters.
Miss Tebb told The Standard it was nice to receive recognition from the community but said she had acted automatically, instinctively prioritising who needed to be helped when she and her 22 year old son Liam Chambers were first on the scene having witnessed the horrific two-car smash as they travelled to Lincoln on the A15 for the Boxing Day sales in 2015.
The catering company supervisor said: “It could be one of your own family members one day and I would hope someone else would do the same thing.”
She said she enjoyed hearing the other stories of award-winners at the event.
Miss Tebb recalls seeing a Subaru overtake her son’s car as they rode along the A15 near Navenby and then saw the driver spin out of control and into the path of an oncoming car. “It was a horrible feeling,” she said.
“It felt like a stunt, I’ve never seen anything like it. It threw the other car into the air and into a dyke.”
Arriving on the scene, she remained calm and prioritised, checking the vehicle in the ditch, but the driver was dead. Returning to the Subaru she ordered her son to call 999 and was met by the pregnant woman passenger who had freed herself but the male driver was trapped with an open leg wound and internal injuries.
Miss Tebb saw flames were taking hold in the engine compartment and realised she had to act quickly, saying: “I don’t know how I did it but I grabbed him and pulled and pulled him out into the road. Then other cars arrived and there was an off-duty fireman and a Macmillan nurse, so she administered first aid and the fireman got an extinguisher to put the flames out.”
Emergency services then arrived and took the casualties to hospital.
Miss Tebb reflected: “I always think about it when I’m on that road. It is not a day I will ever forget.”
Chief Constable Neil Rhodes commented: “Barbara Tebb showed incredible courage. She set aside all concerns for her own safety to save this man from a burning car. There are many great examples of bravery here but as a civilian, Barbara acted on instinct without training or experience and she did an amazing job.
“It is thoroughly deserved.”